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Education. (2013) Panel, 'The Feminine Mystique 50 Years.' New.

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Tucker 10, Alexandria 9, Us 9, Wilson 8, Samuel Tucker 4, Russia 3, Iran 2, Washington 2, Robertson 2, Watson 2, Katie 2, Nablus 1, California 1, China 1, U.s. 1, New York City 1, New York 1, Brooklyn 1, Himalayas 1, Nyu 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Education.  (2013) Panel, 'The  
   Feminine Mystique 50 Years.' New.  

    March 16, 2013
    7:00 - 8:15pm EDT  

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thank you very much for your time. >> guest: thank you sir. ..
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visit booktv.org for more on this weekend's television schedule. >> published in 1963. it is a book about an integra role in the second wave of feminism and the united states. next on book tv a panel discusses the impact of the book 50 years after its publication. this is a little over an hour. >> i want to thank the new american foundation for having us. i am honored to be a moderator because up until now this late date in my career no one has ever found me moderate enough in my views.
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and it is obviously honored to talk about that. anniversary. obviously it is a statistic. that very, very you rare book that it actually changes people's lives. it actually change the culture. more recently only reflecting the lives of the people for not talking about working-class women who had no choice but to work along. and not talking about people sexual preferences may have already found themselves obscure . the what i want to do today a
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little bit is talk about the ongoing power of this. in the recently talked to my undergrads at nyu. some of whom are here in this audience who do not ever hesitate to tell me if something is boring, irrelevant. no longer worthy of their important attention. so it is actually kind of amazing to me that the class from pumps life. the book focuses on in really interesting ways. want to talk about the new feminine mystique. i want to talk about the old feminine mystique. it's complicated. we obviously live in a world that has been formed by both this book and the movement that followed it. most of us who were for an after
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the feminine mystique came out. it's hard enough to imagine those days little. i just think about the rapidity of change my own family. and my mother was a child her father told her only ugly women become lawyers. i grew up in the world where my mother removed the barbie palace the my grandmother gave me until mid next morning when i go of it was lost. 1970's new york city. and then my daughter, we were watching the obama hillary presidential election. she was tiny. she's like five. she said -- yamada, a big obama supporter. you know, when the people live there was a woman president? ish elected me and said, mom, of course there's been a woman
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president. how was the in that short time. on the of the loan became lawyers to of course there has been a bomb in president. barry hard. a world in which are feminists class, the richer sex or the end of man. we live in a world in which more women than men did college educations for the first time the majority in the workplace in which women are in the majority in managerial positions. it is hard for us to look back. in nablus, you know, even really abstractly understanding that things were different, we don't know -- we cannot really see and feel it exactly. i introduced. when she was in college she had not a single woman professor. i was shocked. i was astonished. i know that life is like that,
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it was kind of astonishing to me. my first question i was going to ask our two panelists who were. to just describe for a moment one of your experiences when you first read the book. was it overblown or exaggerated? >> i don't think there is any question. of course it changed people's lives. it is still changing people's lives. it is passed down through the culture. it was the greatest sexual revolution says the suffragettes, and that movement took 100 years. this movement will take 100 years. we have to count on the tender of plans -- the younger ones to push it along. i remember reading the feminine mystique in my mother's bedroom. one of the few books she read. and it wasn't possible for hurts
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the move on it because although she was a gifted singer and she was quite attractive and natural businesswoman and she was eager to work. how's life. two children. and my father suggested as many men they could not afford to cut support his family. it was either volume or vodka. she was in the 50's and they were divorced and she went to it a in that have a man in the cab business woman. i thought i was going to be totally different from our. certainly some of that that was not the right one. what happened to me? i married a man who i loved but
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it was starting medical school. i thought, this is cool. i have to support us. i have an excuse. that was my strategy. i was totally rejected by the other wives of medical students because i was such an oddball. it was just so -- and then we get divorced. having put through before there was any sense of recompense, i was a single mom, like you. and then that changed my whole trajectory. and i really became a feminist. at that time i started the "herald" tribune. as the only place you could get a job as a woman writer. i had to sneak down the back stairs and dare to go across the dmz which was a sitting room where women were allowed to get
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into the office of the magazine editor and pitch in the story. and thereby a mentor who allowed me to move ahead. a little older than i, but much more politically sophisticated. but hunter for a little while. but it was only player who was starting a magazine. an editor for a long time who had a mother who was a journalist. so you really had no attitude about women. so the actually the only fostered my career but gave them their first column written by a woman in politics. a political column. and then when she wanted to start of course she could not
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raise money. who was going to give money to a woman who wanted to publish a magazine about strident women? so this is a great magazine idea. let's put it inside the covers of new york. thirty pages with the cover on the outside. and it sold out. tical the panic because she could not find it in california issue was leading a strike. there's no magazine that year. it sold out. so that was a good exhibition of a collaboration between a mentor and of the mel aspirin which i think we have lost sight of. today we think only women can help women. actually, why not seek out a sponsor who is already at the top.
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>> you remember where you were. >> no, i don't remember where was. and not even sure i know exactly how affected me. i do know how everything became -- that came before affected me. i can only say that there was no -- there were so few possibilities for women that we were expected to be married by 2122. we were expected to raise children. we are not expected to do anything. we were not expected to make money. we were not protected against what would happen if we were due worst. we had no resources. the vulnerability led us to behave toward ben as if they were demigods.
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some of them were maybe. some of them maybe not. i think that when they came out, really as she herself, we have to remember this. she changed and put into words what was in so many people's hearts that they could not themselves of articulate it. they could not a said. and she managed to say it. and across this country it was like an electric shock. there is anything else. perhaps martin luther king. i can't think of anything of the top. actually, exist together. we were going to change the world. we went on a feminist march to washington. groups of women. and suddenly we had a voice. we were different. somebody had to pay attention to
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us. and it was overwhelming. which is what may be vigilant. i remember. i remember going to a the brooklyn museum. plates of all different natures dedicated to the different women throughout history who had made contributions. i am not judging this as a work of art. that is not my field. i can tell you, i was there with katie and her younger sister. and i felt as if the world was turning. we were going to do this thing. now, i may have thought it was simpler then it turned out to be. i may have not anticipated what would happen if he had three children and a corporate lawyer job. lots of things we didn't figure out completely. but the exhilaration of it, the extraordinary nest.
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i just want to see one more thing in the not going to stop. i took a writing class. the year was 1956. a professor. we -- it was an all girls school. we sat around the table. we read the papers. and some girl had gone to reno to get a divorce. you had to live there for six weeks. she came back with a detailed report on everything that happened during her six weeks in reno. and i was spellbound by this report. the borough's she was describing, the way she felt riveted. turned to her and says, what makes you think anybody would be interested in your divorce?
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and there was this silence because i could not have been the only one. but there was also the possibility that women can right because we don't have subjects. well what my subject b? we will what i do? was not a war. the sense that we were pushed aside. in yes, a hundred and ten times, but the voices that everyone has now, that i really believe she liberated into our world are so many. and so grateful that i lived to release see this happen. [applause]
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>> i was going to say something. how radically this transformation occurred, have just -- we think about in terms of the history of social changes, how rapidly this change occurred, how unbelievably fast the world transformed so that we went from the feminine mystique, the place where the idea of a woman working is so subversive and transgressive and all of that to where we are now or when are the majority in the workplace, we can say their problems to be addressed. but certainly in terms of opportunity women have the kind of opportunity it could not be imagined in 1963 when she sat down to write this book. so whether we have really cast
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aside totally the feminine mystique she was writing about. the reason i ask this again. this kind of romanticized vision which now is called a stay at home mother, given up this idea of family, this kind of -- all of that of what conventional life was supposed to be like. >> and what motherhood is. >> and what mother this. you can recognize parts of it. >> i don't think we walked away from that. something that interests me when we're talking about this, it's so exciting to hear you talking about we really thought that we could do this because you bloody well did. adding to month when he started talking, here are all these things have changed. here's what we could not 210. our daughter is asking her, of course there has been a one president. what i think it's remarkable, the single most striking thing to me looking at the book now
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was that this notion of, okay, we don't appreciate all the changed. the notion people had when she wrote this book. she said, you know, we spent the first half of this century fighting for rights and the second half not appreciating that. whites have a bellsouth to people who have grown up after they had been up. 1953. and this is exactly our reaction now, of course. and i think we won all these rights. i think their is a feminine mystique now. you can do everything. this is not the fault of feminism. this is an opportunity yet feminism has enabled. the fact of the matter is you cannot do everything with it at the same time. can't be done. yet. at the same time. >> the seventh fallacy. >> yeah. i mean, it can't be done. i don't think we have given up
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the idea at all for family or motherhood. i think all we have done this that we can do it all at once. >> and i'm glad. it's not a fantasy to have the family. it's a wonderful thing. i think the vast majority of women to want to have a family at some point. but also, educated women, something like 40 percent of educated as operational when have children not to have children by the age of 40. which is pretty dramatic. but we have attachment parenting which came up in the last decade . when were encouraged to really be very, very close to their children for a least the first five years. and interestingly, studies that
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have been done about women who, once they were educated to the idea that if you really drop out, if you go off ramp, if you go off ramp in your job in the 30's, five years, have children and be home with them, you will get back on where you left off and you will pay in all kinds of ways, seniority, position, pension. women are still choosing to do that. the majority of women are still choosing a nonlinear path and taking some time out. the great encouragement is there stay connected in some way and were becoming an entrepreneur or you can work from home, which is really -- >> about everybody has the skill set. >> that's true. that's true. >> i think we may have forgotten that after the feminine mystique was published we have a war.
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within and between women who made different choices. i have to say that we better not glorify this. there was some nastiness going on between women who had jobs and working for careers in both themselves and to the better trend by the women who were baking cookies. it was extremely. >> in that specific thing, cookie baking. that is what hillary clinton said. ticket this at home and baked cookies. people were appalled. >> i want to read "from the feminine mystique.
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she wrote a letter hell as women move into the workplace, and her last chapter she wrote another on her way out. easing the hostility. now, she herself over and over again said that she was for choice. she did not say you must get a top-level job. she said, you need to be free to choose the kind of life that you want. and she was not -- c-span2 i looked at it again, not very kind to the house life of a staying home. i think that politically she said they you cannot dismiss many, many hundreds and thousands of people like choices. you have to respect them and yet to make it possible for them to feel pride in themselves are
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there going to come and kill you. [laughter] >> you don't want to be denigrating, i don't think. i don't think it is in the interest of feminism with the interest of reality to be denigrating how difficult childbearing is so. tax cuts work. >> e-mails finance, i am encouraged by the feminists. among millenniums, young women. i think there really haven't, all of them. one of the things that i found interesting is a woman quite well known now, co-president of the company. she started out at 22 joining the only black own investment firm in the country. she was to identify right away by the president as being a woman of great talent and promise. when she was 24 he took her to meet one of the biggest sea as
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in the country. he said, grinning you to be president. and she elected to be his press upper. she jumped whenever he spoke, did everything that heat could including writing thank-you notes to the parents of his children sleepovers. and then at 28 in it president. and she was completely reoriented right up her mid-30s. submission which around and said, gee, it might be nice to have a day once in awhile or meat man. she went with somebody fairly prominent, the filmmaker star wars. they're now engaged. she is 43. she probably will never have children because she really did have time. what she says about young women who come to her to be mentored, if the talk about work life
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balance she knows there will never move up to senior positions. because they will have to be unidirectional for at least the first ten years of their career. >> there really aren't an awful lot of women who find that if he left to also be a ceo. to those who aspire to that, more power to them and i hope we get more of them, but it is really a narrow portion of the female population that finds that appealing. don't you agree? >> that is because we only have half of a revolution. if we have actually changed the world had changed man then we would have the world that would make this possible. but we have is half. >> right. >> we are not satisfied with half. half is going to work. i think it's not because -- had
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permanent. it's something that is happening now because we have not changed the whole of society. all we did was change. now we have to change what men want. we have to change what society is willing to do for family. universal daycare. we have to make this world completely different for ourselves. then we will have it. >> such an important point. one of the things that makes me so sad is that we were really close. 1971. walter mondale. bipartisan. comprehensive child care where there were going to have universal preschool in day care like they do and scandinavian countries. imagine. it was nixon who did that. we don't want to put the best moral authority of the federal government and non-traditional family structure. unconventional. the things katie writes about. and that would have changed so
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much. it still would. i think that that would change so much. just paid maternity leave. that would be an enormous. and it's going to have to come through hassling private companies because the government isn't going to be able to do it. government can't pay for the entitlements and already has out there. we can't wait from march on washington. we have to work on companies. i think there is enough pressure . if he and women coalesce in a new movement i think that can happen. there is a lot of precedent. companies like cool just expanded to 12 weeks. i think 12 weeks' paid maternity leave because they had too many women leaving. well, that's what happens. and once they improved their retention rate, it is paying off.
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>> i mean, i want to stress to you. think about cheryl little bit. the path that she has been attracting. i think when we talk about how to solve these problems, there actually are some female ceos who step forward. obviously most notably. she is really receiving a kind of astonishing amount. on one level we have -- we really want more female ceos. but the kind of hate the women see as the we do have. with a camera somewhere. we really cannot stand a million things about them. i think it is worth taking a little bit about why. some of the critiques are interesting. she is trying tough use some of the things that we think about as this next stage of this kind of thing. the revolution.
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and she is trying to a, you know, talk to women about how to the succeed in a kind of really high level business structure while not sacrificing family. and it is a great deal of anger from female critics, from feminists, from nice thinking liberals. so what you make of that. that kind of hostility toward her in trying to think. >> it is so inconceivable to me working at a job like that. i can relate to it at all. everybody is just a writer. can anyone relate to having that kind of corporate job? i have no a job to have no idea what it is. i don't know what it means. i don't know.
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>> as the other one. the reason you make it up. the merge. >> she is that to have actually written a book here reaches talking about how women should not leave the workplace before they leave the workplace. how they should. a lot of really practical advice it's pretty much -- is another kind of lofty tone in spite of some of the critiques. it is really a pretty nuts and bolts. she is some 530. people have attacked her because she is critical. obviously very rich. kind of a weird thing. a successful ceo. >> and a think a lot of the criticism. this is all white, privileged,
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well educated elite. that's the truth. and that's a valid critique. it's a valid critique as well. this deal. you have the power sam living in 530. on the other and, they have power. so someone in an elite position is putting things in a good direction, that's not so bad. >> it's not reproducible, though. that is what is the beef. and it does make many women who are struggling terribly to try to figure out the balance to be fair, to actually go through that terrible baby hunger the women feel that six months when their unpaid maternity leave is over and they have to go back to work because they have to work. they don't want to of the fairchild. that is a reality for most 11 who have children and a good job and they don't get to go home at 530 to have supper with the kids. if they're going to move up.
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so i think it is natural antipathy to have a book say, well, you're just not working hard enough. figure it out, girls. >> i think that's a fair representation. i have to said. there was a great piece in the new yorker which argues the people who criticize this have not read this book presents because they did not have enough . >> but i do think she's not quite saying women are working hard enough. i think that is an unfair characterization. >> there was ever. a good many of you in the rubble remember. in this culture if someone raises their head and takes a deep breath and says something, someone was shut -- tour rock. that was completely true.
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women towards women that thing we have not begun to deal with. as any woman who says anything slightly at a variant from what the darkness as you should say, they voted viciously attacked by another set of women. it could be the other. is not a question of one right side and one wrong side. i'm not saying that. the urge to attack is very strong. i don't know what we do about it. on how we can cut down. a survey to one a sentimental the real love each other. tillage other out good blr. does not doing it. something about the social movement, any kind of movement, anything that moves. it's going to get attacked.
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>> i think you're right. one of the things that happened to my and representing the position and how we came to view heard the weekend if you were, there were two very prominent journalists who really irresponsibly started a causation. one of them was on the front page of the times and the other one had said something i'm paraphrasing to be running a social movement. the actual -- mainly working for nonprofits. and by taking that first part of a "it makes it sound like she has these grand visions and aspirations of rely fed wants to be ghandi. so, of course, people pounce on iran marker. very telling that she was well thought of. doing something so borderline
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unethical to the extent that the times put in a correction because it really is wrong to miss "somebody like that. it's also telling that was to say she has the original ." should we all take our guns and shooter? i feel like per woman to have this idea automatically causes a lot of anxiety and anger and hostility. >> speaking of women who were all in love and for one big cuddle, she was a piece of work. it was bins were lavender minute to the movement. she warned against the man hitting browbeating segment of the movement. asked she was not somebody who said if you're a feminist the fun of me >> you're distorting the history
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just a little bit. >> fix me up. >> there was a group within the feminist movement that disapproved of the family side of the feminist movement so that there got to be a lot of the hostility. on a book tour, she was greeted at various libraries by not only pickets, but bomb threats. these did not come from some bearded pakistan in terrorist but some moments group that was very angry and air. so that we really have to remember, i don't believe -- i don't know who started the fight it is true that she was not a woman's woman. ten women and one man, she was
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certainly going to go over to the corner to talk to the man. that was part of her charm. what i really think, for while. it looked as if it could explode . with those of us who were there, it was in a matter of family women are right or anything of the sort. what are you doing to our movement? and there was another part to that. >> there was the man haters. there really were a lot of man haters. there were given a name, the ball busters. the strident ball busting man hating women and all movement cat that rap in the mainstream. it was very threatening. i did not become a feminist in
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1970, and added to gloria, mainly because i did not want to be part of that. i was scared that the mnlf with the dow was. i mean, i did the things. i had a struggle and the want to give up the love and compassion and nurturing sexy man living side of myself to have to? >> she must. some women or some people read her as saying collector and the revolution. all you have to lose is your vacuum cleaner. >> i want to think a little bit
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more about how we can identify our own problems which have no name and our own feminine mystique which i think is just by definition quite hard to recognize when you're living in a culture. and now want to think a little bit. one of my students said to my it's kind of like we have that feminine mystique in the we have all this do other stuff, both of them which kind of speaks to the having in all question and we talked about earlier. the book called the conflict in which he talks about our new style of parenting. the ways in which we parent which are taking this kind of ominous amounts of energy that could be spent on, perhaps to my other more fulfilling or intellectual pursuits. what you think is the new feminine mystique, the new problems that don't have a name? >> it's funny that is coming.
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the giant best seller. if we could just parents like the french and not make the kids and the kings. anyway, i mean, i don't think this is the most important problem, but it is, i do think -- i do think it is a misconception to some extent that the kind of culture means we are sexually liberated. i do think that is a myth. don't think it's the most important thing. >> i think that -- i did a whole book about this interview airing of women. why are you flashing for gross ton while? wire you before -- what you already think it is a responsibility to look desk inky as possible? i think that there is confusion
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about the difference between -- and i think it is confusion because it is confusing the difference between the new role and being totally sexually liberated, and i think it's confusing and was another issue that was always confusing when you talk about, sex and board, pretty sanctioned. >> and guess we did. many demonstrations against it. >> hustler. >> i am not clear why this is a feminist issue that divides young woman. i don't quite understand what they are saying. the demise. okay. i think that, okay, you know, first of all, from the assumption that there was such a thing as anti. feminists who argue against that
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. tennyson is about freedom and choice and above and want to participate in pornography or wanted, then that's choice. that is where this is starting. i think that no american -- i mean, i think that anti. feminism went as spectacularly as the shakers. you cannot say it's less than it was then. and i think that there's a lot of confusion about, does that mean women have come so far they know are free to express themselves? does it mean that we have internalized our obligation to be a sex object to a different extent? think it's a confusing question. britain just wondering whether we would not want to rephrase t. the effect on culture which
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still wages. about that the book thing for the new man, to. >> but we never came. >> the ones she was waiting for. it was just, the issue which i imagine every generation struggles with -- you know, slightly different names to it. if we were able to solve the question of how you get, how can a woman get through her and her family life without using -- losing her mind.
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if we solve the problem that will be wonderful. then we can do the nature. >> well, one last question talk about what this book. again, amazing. but i want to ask one question, kind of broadening and out. we know now that she was a marxist. she had various political ideas. she was not expressing an overtly. our country. she called it steady resistance to political ideas. she was critiquing been. this ideal. the vacuum cleaner. it was not just.
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that just about women but about man. everyone living in this computer culture trying to get new things and accumulate them and live these conventional lives. that is what i was wondering, what should we make of our world now? at think that if we think of her in some of the sub sext, i wonder where she would make of our dream of conventional. our idea of a successful family life. it's still quite narrow in this country. not that different from what it was. >> well, i would say it's very different. both men and women spend much more time preparing and sells educational and occupational, postponing until late 20's, early 30's. it's at least a ten year jump from when we were young and women married a 21 minute 23. now it's more like 28.
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and highly aspirational women commit maybe mid 30's to late 30's, '40's, having children, the reproductive revolution that allows people to postpone. we are in an entirely different economic situation some would say declining country economically. the job opportunities for young women coming into this are so, so truncated that one of the good things i've seen now as women who are aware of this and were coming out of college having worked for college coming out, if they pay for their own college and graduate school, they come out in there mid to late 20's with maybe a hundred thousand, maybe 200,000 college loans that they have to pay off. so wanted to be a social entrepreneur with so many do, they can't. it then have to take a job in
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some high-paying position. and if they went to law school they're going to go into corporate law. in a be bored to tears, but they have to for a least 510 years to get the money to then be able to do their passion. that's a big difference. when i wrote in the 1970's, the most famous business book, and it remains to the day is what color is your parachute. and that he says there was from a start out following a passion. you can afford to do that as a 25 year-old who is finished college? have to work, get some -- you know, it takes a decade to pay off those college loans for most people unless they came from all of the family. in the other thing that i think is a bigot vantage, the boomer generation which was the generation that inherited -- we actually started it. a little bit older.
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inherited the revolution and push it forward. 80 percent white. the generation of young people today thank goodness is far more diversified, and there are a lot of young african american asian-american, in the american, hispanics who voted for obama, very much responsible for the reelection of obama ben who are helping to mentor. we really did not have a lot to do for them or even lower middle-class women. there was a lot of argument on intention, but they didn't get it included a lot, and neither did women of color. now it's much more, you know, horizontal in that way. one of the things i find exciting his young women start at like 18 and 22 to try to help
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younger, poorer when to learn code, learn how to do coat, learn how to build web sites, largescale, like the typing of the past that allows them to get into all low-level position and move up because they know the technology of the future. >> undoubtedly would have been ostracized and killed in 1962. robert joseph mccarthy. there was no way that she could have expressed anything that could have been sensible to a marxist position in any book that was going to be read. >> of course. look at her class critique then apply it to now. look at our culture now. material things. we're not reading vacuum cleaner ads. we just -- >> that's probably all true.
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use the word marxist, let's remember that one of the things that happened in all country was that we saw what marxism was in russia. and having seen what marxism was in russia, the word becomes a dirty word. the idea is so good either. so what now happens is i think we are in a very imperfect world but it is a perfect imperfect world without ideology that we can hang on to. most people here are not sitting around having coffee fighting over ideology. you may be fighting over various sorts of things you want to accomplish. the political disagreements camino, trying to find out what's going on in your world. but you're not sure they have the answer. that is nothing is changed enormously. >> open up for questions. anyone or everyone are never.
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>> okay. >> i want to have a comment. i was at a panel at and why you about women and the law. the first annual conference on women and law. and actually, the reason i was there, i have a speaker, an annual survey. first a sociologist. when she was growing and she was told she had to be a teacher. basically at the age of 40 she graduated from law school and ended up going and was a major partner in two major law firms. she always felt very upset by what she saw and how the treatment of women and law firms, even though she kind of rose to be a managing partner of a major law firm, she started the survey. it's an annual survey of national law firms across the country. what she found is that 15 percent of when and by today
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in 2013 make equity partner across the board in their annual survey about roughly 15 percent of women are able to make equity partner in law firms across the country. and that's actually release at. you know, someone got up and the audience and said, a lot of times women weeping go climb the himalayas. in know, people leave our law firm and go on to do great things. you know, that's not really the point. you can go and climbed the himalayas. the question that we need to focus on is why are they leaving these law firms? sure, she had this great life, but what is it about the structure of these law firms for not allowing women to advance to become equity partner? plenty the end up and law firms
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for five years in a basically forced to leave in one way or the other. i just want to ask you, my question i guess is what structurally needs to happen concretely in america's workplaces? >> i'm no lawyer. >> i would hesitate to address law firms. a big technical question. she writes about working. many people don't. a lot of people working in law firms, trying to be the partners in particular may not be working . and then sometimes i think that is. not trying to say the himalaya question, but i wondered if this model where these educated women should be using their brains in some way, there is something a lot from culture for both men and women that is pretty distorted and punishing.
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and i think that the question of whether you can have a life outside of the law firm for either a man or woman, if you are a young man at 34 and have a newborn baby, are you ever going to see that newborn baby? for both men and women it's a pretty difficult to a punishing culture. our inspection -- expectation, those men and women, it's a bit complicated right now. >> about 15 years ago, and all grow school, and they had a career day. the principal, of very fine family, a corporate lawyer partner, mother of a child and the school invited to come and speak issue came unspoken talk about all the wonderful thing she does partner. then there was questions. and these were grows between 14 and 18. first question, what times you
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get home for dinner? the second question was what happens if your child is sick. the third question was, how often are you able to spend the whole weekend to child. not one of these girls and when asked this woman of thing about the law was a law firm or her political beliefs or corporate believes so that the pressure in women who are corporate lawyers is enormous. underneath, the generations they are raising, complaining. and with justification perhaps. what are we going to do? iran, something needs to be done it's not so simple. we can't say just make everybody -- have are written success. >> we're talking about corporate law firms and betty living in a
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culture where women could not have careers. their talk about how in 1960 there were as many women, the vast majority of whom were married, working as their work at the height of world war ii when all the men, you know, were away and women and all the jobs. what that tells you is it is not that women didn't work. it is that women didn't work for fulfillment. plenty of women had to work and did. [inaudible question] grad school for history and have the privilege of teaching his book in talking to my students about it. i guess my first question is whether you think that today there has been sort of the my friends to my peers and a sort of a backlash, the idea that staying at home or being a stay at home mom, there's something bad about that. that is sort of a dirty word, not something that anyone should
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entertain as the goal or aspiration. and on the other side of it, when i talk about this book or other feminist texas have some many students process would want to say by saying nam by no means a feminist. i wonder whether there is this stigma. >> i am going to say, you look at most recently people can save they don't consider themselves feminists. morris myers. and one of my colleagues, maybe the fact that she didn't consider herself a feminist means that the term is no longer useful to us. doesn't mean she is a feminist. she obviously did many of the things that we think of. her students to believe all these things. so should we keep trying to make people aware a big sign or should we just have the facts as
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a success of the movement. is it assigned have the success and women who went on marches. is it a sign of succeeding that we don't need that word anymore? that these ideas and have been so assimilated into our dna that we don't need it anymore. >> i think you could call ourselves women's advocates. it is a much more neutral term. i think fitness became a dirty word among generation x. i don't think it is among a lot of money else. we do have to get away from that in order to the -- but you do need a name. you have to have a brand. what is our brand? the women's advocates, women's activists, you know, we still want to see how women who understand how to succeed in their lives.
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and we need to do that. >> i wish i knew. >> i wish i knew, too. >> some start of what you were saying. she was saying how this woman was bemoaning. called herself a feminist. she did not know. and suggested that she knows she is. ..
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although she was forgot also but actually change the values of the workplace so men and women could have it all, and that hasn't really come up here. i don't know but was in there but it was a future book than what i learned growing up. and now if they want to have it all they do it by somehow navigating their workplace and designing their own sort of solution and it might be that lateral track and not the direct upward track. she always advocated we shouldn't have to do that and we should have a societal structure set for us. that was one thing and the other thing is that betty friedan was not a marxist. that is not a proven fact, and
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it's very upsetting to hear it even as that although i would say otherwise. >> she had a profound sense of social justice and a profound sense of social justice was formed by many things including her upbringing and where she grew up and many many things. she grew up studying intellectual things in college and she certainly played with leftist ideas and everything and did anybody see the way we were? anybody who was intelligent at that time played the limousine communist. >> she had certain residents to certain older people what i mean by that is a strongly developed class. she thought of class and a more rigorous way and when you say
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limousine communism that might be a better way to talk about it. do we have time for one more question? one more question. make it a good one. >> this is more of a comet based upon the last thing with identifying as a feminist and i feel like it actually has to do a a do a lot with what ariel writes in her book and there is a sort of hesitation to you now stand up for yourself in a sense because you don't want to leave out the woman and especially in a class that you are reading and the person says something very feminist i think the refusal to identify as a feminist in that sense shows that there is a backlash in our culture. did you guys see the oscars? i mean i think it's just like to say we are beyond the word feminism is maybe wishful thinking and lovely but i don't
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think it's actually true. so that's all. [applause] >> thanks everyone. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> the simple fact is that we are all we are all getting older together and we are not the same same -- our fertility rates have dropped dramatically and we are beginning to have an inverted pyramid that does not -- that makes her challenges as it relates to entitlements social security even greater. slow-growing developing
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countries have had for decades lower fertility rates. japan and europe it particularly and russia and now china is starting to feel the impact of its one child policy. we are better off than the worst rest of the developed world that our fertility rate has dropped to below breakeven to 1.8, the lowest drop in the last three years in recorded history and unlike most of the world we have a tried-and-true way to deal with this demographic timebomb. democracy does not have to be deafening if you change course. the path that we could take is to allow for a strategic reform of our immigration laws so that we can bring young aspirational people that will rebuild the demographic pyramid to make their entitlement system secure and jumpstart our economy in a way that will create an uplifting of our hopes and dreams but also directly impact, immediately impact the economic world. >> u.s. economic growth and immigration policies. former florida governor jeb bush
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on immigration wars tonight at 8:15 eastern part of booktv this week on on season -- on c-span2.
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>> 19395 african-americans were arrested at the alexandria city
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library as they try to obtain a library card. attorney samuel tucker -- which resulted in the creation of a separate library for its black residents. we travel to the traveled to the site of the original sit in and to the place where the black library was built. today is african american history museum and tells the story of samuel tucker and the five people arrested that day for the simple act of trying to get a library card. >> august 21 of 19395 african-american men who were not allowed to use the library came in and each one politely asked for a library card and they were denied. each man tape took up a up a book and sat at a separate table in the library staff didn't know what to do with that. they paid taxes and followed other loss but they were not allowed to take part in the things that every alexandria citizen was allowed to take part in. this was part of a program that
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young local attorney say mel tucker have been working on for some time. >> he really got a taste of wanting to be a lawyer for two reasons. one there was a lawyer in town thomas watson who rented space from tucker's father and he became fascinated with what lawyer watson did. and then the other took a trip on on a streetcar with his father into d.c. and they were coming back from d.c.. they were asked to move from their seats once the streetcar got into alexandria by a white preacher and that was there. they refused and i believe it was tucker's brother who refused to move from his seat. when i got off the streetcar the woman followed them and flagged down a policeman and had the young man arrested. luckily the charges were found that because the boys feared the charges would not be thrown out but they hadn't created any
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disturbance and they weren't trying to do anything that was illegal. but it gave tucker a sense that being a lawyer gave him some kind of power to make things right. >> before 1939 he had an african-american sergeant who was a world war i veteran. he had worked with him to commence the library and applied for a card. wilson had been denied a technical grounds. the wilson case didn't go very far. the city was able to drag its feet and slow things down. what samuel tucker did was to go to the neighborhood, find a large group of young men who were willing to volunteer to basically be arrested. it was a fairly large number initially but on august 21, 1939 there were five young men that were available. they got dressed up in their best clothing, ties and everyone perfectly groomed. they came in and they asked for library cards and were denied. tucker had one of the younger
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brothers waiting outside and as soon as he heard the police were being called tucker came over with the photographer who was florence murray who took the one shot that we have of a policeman and the young man coming out of the building. tucker had instructed them to be very polite and very quiet and it was very sedate. he didn't want anybody being arrested for disturbing the peace. >> it was interesting because tucker had -- the case went to court but the young men really didn't do anything wrong. they just wanted to read and tucker had another case that was going on, a case of a retired army sergeant, sergeant wilson and that really started the sit in idea. he wanted wilson to be able to get a library card and wilson tried and he was turned down even though he paid taxes in the city. he was not allowed to get a library card.
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this court case, so there were two cases going on at the same time. the court case for wilson in the court case for these five young men at the sit in. he understood the men weren't doing anything wrong and there was no reason to send these five young men to jail to make them serving time for what they did or give them any sort of punishment. it's been said that he asked for a continuance after continuance during the court case and eventually the charges for the men were dropped. for the wilson case the main issue was they were saying that the alexandria free library was for alexandria citizens. during the court case they said wilson did not make it clear when he went to the library and that he was a citizen so therefore she had a perfect right not to issue a library card to him. eventually the case was found and that they issued, and tucker
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went back and issued him a card but not before the alexandria library but for the robertson library that was built for african-americans in 1940 and came out of the 1939 sit in that occurred in august 1939 and what was then known as the alexandria free library. they admitted he was citizen of alexandria but for tucker that was never acceptable. he wanted full access. >> i think there were two feelings about that. they were happy that there was a library and especially the adults were happy their children have a place that they could study and supplement what they were learning in school but they also knew it was sort of the jim crow library. it was not a library that was meant -- who it was meant to appease. it was not meant for them to have full access to the information that they needed. samuel tucker for one never set
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foot and a robert the robert robertson library and in fact i believe there is a letter in the documents section of special collections at the library where he writes saying that he does not consider this a solution building this library for people who want full access. it was for all alexandria citizens who pay taxes. they saw tucker on the streets in and alexandria and they said they saw a man with a briefcase with it very determined walk. he always wanted to make things right for the people. he understood the injustice that was out there and he understood that african-americans had such a harder time than the white community. to get access to a free trial and he wasn't successful all the time but he tried. he fought against the prevailing and that was one of the most important things about him.
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>> for more more information on booktv's recent visit to alexandria virginia and the many other cities visited by her local content vehicles go to c-span.org/local content.